Four Corners trip day 4: The road to Towaoc

We were barely able to sleep through the wet and windy night, the thunder didn’t help either, as it seemed to be right outside of our tents. I managed to stay mostly dry minus a few damp parts where the mesh wasn’t completely covered by the tent cover. As for max, he woke up in a small pond of a tent and sleeping bag. His personal belongings also felt the wrath of the rain, being completely soaked, including his duffle bag and everything inside of it. We packed up as fast as we could, while we only had the light rain. I managed to pack up before max could so I was able to head to the laundry room in the registration office, to charge my cell phone and mobile charger. In the midst of charging my electronics I made a wise purchase of a 5$ poncho for safe keeping, since that was now the extent of my current rain gear. After waiting more than enough time, I checked up on max, but he still needed some time to get situated.

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As I sit in the laundry room, looking like some straggler as passer by’s walk in and out, a British fellow noticed and took a liking to my motorcycle as max strolled up on his. With the volume of it, he couldn’t miss it, even if he was very hard of hearing. We got to talking with him and he told us some great stories of his bigger riding days, the bikes that he’s owned, and still owns. Somehow we managed to have similar stories and thoughts, regardless of the wide gap in age, as well as cultural and background differences. In my opinion, there’s very few things that can bring people like us and him together, and be able share the same profound love and passion for the same thing, motorcycles and traveling happened to be some of them. He continued to carry on conversation about his current trip of traveling around the states in a big RV group, and we filled him in on the details of our trip as well. Telling each other great spots to visit if we have the chance. It’s one thing to be able to talk to a complete stranger about almost anything, but when there’s something that we find in common, something as specific as motorcycles, it takes it to a whole new level. You can get really get to know someone when you have the same feeling and emotion towards something.

As we said our goodbyes, we failed to get his name, he wished us luck on our upcoming dreadful ride, and we needed it. We stocked up on gas station food, and trash bags to use as gear covers and to cover ourselves as much as we could. As we headed out, the rain seemed to get worse and visibility was lowering. The clouds were hovering so low over the spread out mountain tops, it looked like they had snow on them, with the peaks poking out so slightly.

Time was running short to hold out for the storm, we had to face the inevitable, take a deep breath, and dive face first into the blinding and stinging rain. Riding just around 45 MPH through the curvy and slick road, we had a long 125 miles ahead of us. Passing through the Valley of the Gods, I could only turn into a religious man at that point. Our fist’s clenched, our arms locked, trying to keep our bodies from shaking us right off our seats, its very likely that this was the worst conditions we had ever put ourselves through while riding a motorcycle. It took most of the fun right out of it. I say most, because, there was still a piece of us that was enjoying every second of it. Putting our bodies through the unfortunate, just waiting for the moment it’s over, so we can say we lived through it, to tell the story.

As we managed to make it through the valley, we then headed into some backroad of Utah. Passing through many of what I would barely call towns. Fields of sheep chasing us as we pass by, yet the cows were not stirred in the slightest. Gas stations that looked like they haven’t been in use in quite some time, in which they made great pit stops to relax our nerves once we were through the worst.

We can make it sound completely awful, and still I don’t think anyone will ever know or understand what we went through and how it felt. We survived the pelting, hail like rain, the slippery curves and hills, the wind, the cold, the fog and almost zero visibility. I wouldn’t trade anything to never have experienced it.

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We made it though about 3/4 of the way to be finally in the clear of rain, just 20 miles before the hotel in Towaoc, Co. We ended up staying an extra day to sit out the weather. An extra day to dry out, do laundry, and have some drinks in which we had to travel to the town of Cortez, since the hotel was on the Navajo reservation and alcohol is all around forbidden. Day 6 came fast, as it holds a whole new start, and the last half of our trip to the way back home.

-Sean Reilly/30on2

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